With the Texas State Board of Education set to take up debate on proposed new social studies curriculum standards this week, the far right’s rhetoric is increasingly heated. We told you last week that Texas Tea Partiers are planning a “take back our schools!” rally outside a public hearing on the standards at the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday. Now Peter Morrison, a right-winger who served on one of the curriculum writing teams, is tossing a bomb into the debate. (Click here to read more about Morrison and other far-right extremists who have had a hand in rewriting the standards.) Says Morrison today in an e-mail to recipients of his periodic Peter Morrison Report:
“Social studies is the primary avenue of left wing propaganda into our schools. This is where they portray America as an evil country, bowdlerize our religious heritage and clutter the biographies of George Washington and Sam Houston with scores of marginal, politically correct token figures chosen primarily because of their race or gender.”
Morrison calls on his e-newsletter readers to contact Republicans on the board to “encourage” them “to do the right thing.” And what’s that, Peter? Promote the fiction that Joseph McCarthy was an American hero? Claim that the Founders wanted a nation based on Christian biblical principles rather than the principle of religious freedom for all? Ignore the contributions of minorities to Texas and American history?
Expect more (deeply) dishonest rhetoric from the right during public hearing testimony on Wednesday. The state board will then begin debating — and amending — the standards on Thursday. The board is scheduled to vote on the final standards document in March. Publishers will use the standards to write new textbooks scheduled for are adoption in 2012. (That adoption date could change as the state Legislature wades through serious budget issues.)
Keep an eye on TFN Insider this week. We will be live-blogging from the public hearing on Wednesday and the board debate on Thursday.